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Public Act 100-0543


 

Public Act 0543 100TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY

  
  
  

 


 
Public Act 100-0543
 
HB0302 EnrolledLRB100 05672 SMS 16166 b

    AN ACT concerning regulation.
 
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
 
    Section 5. The Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act is
amended by changing Sections 10, 15, 30, and 35 as follows:
 
    (215 ILCS 185/10)
    Sec. 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
    "Annuity contract" does not include an annuity contract
used to fund an employment-based retirement plan or program
where (1) the insurer does not perform the record keeping
services or (2) the insurer is not committed by the terms of
the annuity contract to pay death benefits to the beneficiaries
of specific plan participants.
    "Date of death" means the date on which an insured, annuity
owner, or retained asset account holder died.
    "Date of death notice" means the date the insurer first has
notice of the date of death of an insured, annuity owner, or
retained asset account holder. "Date of death notice" includes,
but is not limited to, the date the insurer received
information or gained knowledge of a Death Master File match or
any other source or record maintained or located in insurer
records of the death of an insured, annuity owner, or retained
asset account holder.
    "Death Master File" means the United States Social Security
Administration's Death Master File or any other database or
service that is at least as comprehensive as the United States
Social Security Administration's Death Master File for
determining that a person has reportedly died.
    "Death Master File match" means a match of the social
security number or the name and date of birth of an insured,
annuity owner, or retained asset account holder resulting from
a search of the Death Master File.
    "Department" means the Department of Insurance.
    "Lost policy finder" means a service made available by the
Department on its website or otherwise developed by the
Department to assist consumers with locating unclaimed life
insurance benefits.
    "Policy" means any policy or certificate of life insurance
that provides a death benefit, including a policy that has
lapsed or been terminated. "Policy" does not include any policy
or certificate of credit life or accidental death insurance or
health coverages, including, but not limited to, disability and
long-term care arising from the reported death of a person
insured under the coverage, or any policy issued to a group
master policyholder for which the insurer does not provide
record keeping services.
    "Record keeping services" means services provided under
circumstances in which the insurer has agreed with a group
policy or annuity contract customer to be responsible for
obtaining, maintaining, and administering its own or its
agents' systems information about each individual insured
under an insured's group insurance contract, or a line of
coverage thereunder, including, but not limited to, the
following: (1) social security number or name and date of
birth, (2) beneficiary designation information, (3) coverage
eligibility, (4) benefit amount, and (5) premium payment
status.
    "Retained asset account" means any mechanism whereby the
settlement of proceeds payable under a policy or annuity
contract is accomplished by the insurer or an entity acting on
behalf of the insurer depositing the proceeds into an account
with check or draft writing privileges, where those proceeds
are retained by the insurer or its agent pursuant to a
supplementary contract not involving annuity benefits other
than death benefits.
(Source: P.A. 99-893, eff. 1-1-17.)
 
    (215 ILCS 185/15)
    Sec. 15. Insurer conduct.
    (a) An insurer shall initially perform a comparison of its
insureds', annuitants', and retained asset account holders'
in-force policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset
accounts in force on or after January 1, 2017 by using the full
Death Master File. The initial comparison shall be completed on
or before December 31, 2017, unless extended by the Department
pursuant to administrative rule. An insurer required to perform
a comparison of its insureds', annuitants', and retained asset
account holders' in-force policies, annuity contracts, and
retained asset accounts in force on or after January 1, 2012
shall perform a comparison of policies, annuity contracts, and
retained asset accounts in force between January 1, 2012 and
December 31, 2016 on or before December 31, 2018 by using the
full Death Master File. An insurer required to perform a
comparison of electronic searchable files concerning its
insureds', annuitants', and retained asset account holders'
in-force policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset
accounts in force on or after January 1, 2000 shall perform a
comparison of policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset
accounts in force between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2016
on or before December 31, 2018 by using the full Death Master
File. Thereafter, an insurer shall perform a comparison on at
least a semi-annual basis using the Death Master File update
files for comparisons to identify potential matches of its
insureds, annuitants, and retained asset account holders. In
the event that one of the insurer's lines of business conducts
a search for matches of its insureds, annuitants, and retained
asset account holders against the Death Master File at
intervals more frequently than semi-annually, then all lines of
the insurer's business shall conduct searches for matches
against the Death Master File with the same frequency. Within 6
months after acquisition of policies, annuity contracts, or
retained asset accounts from another insurer, the acquiring
insurer shall compare all newly acquired policies, annuity
contracts, and retained asset accounts that were not searched
by the previous insurer in compliance with this Act against the
complete Death Master File to identify potential matches of its
insureds, annuitants, and retained asset account holders. Upon
any subsequent acquisition of policies, annuity contracts, or
retained asset accounts from another insurer, when the previous
insurer has already conducted a search of the newly acquired
policies, annuity contracts, and retained asset accounts using
the complete Death Master File, the acquiring insurer shall
compare all newly acquired policies, annuity contracts, and
retained asset accounts using all of the Death Master File
updates since the time the previous insurer conducted the
complete search to identify potential matches of its insureds,
annuitants, and retained asset account holders.
    An insured, an annuitant, or a retained asset account
holder is presumed dead if the date of his or her death is
indicated by the comparison required in this subsection (a),
unless the insurer has competent and substantial evidence that
the person is living, including, but not limited to, a contact
made by the insurer with the person or his or her legal
representative.
    For those potential matches identified as a result of a
Death Master File match, the insurer shall within 120 days
after the date of death notice, if the insurer has not been
contacted by a beneficiary, determine whether benefits are due
in accordance with the applicable policy or contract and, if
benefits are due in accordance with the applicable policy or
contract:
        (1) use good faith efforts, which shall be documented
    by the insurer, to locate the beneficiary or beneficiaries;
    the Department shall establish by administrative rule
    minimum standards for what constitutes good faith efforts
    to locate a beneficiary, which shall include: (A) searching
    insurer records; (B) the appropriate use of First Class
    United States mail, e-mail addresses, and telephone calls;
    and (C) reasonable efforts by insurers to obtain updated
    contact information for the beneficiary or beneficiaries;
    good faith efforts shall not include additional attempts to
    contact the beneficiary at an address already confirmed not
    to be current; and
        (2) provide the appropriate claims forms or
    instructions to the beneficiary or beneficiaries to make a
    claim, including the need to provide an official death
    certificate if applicable under the policy or annuity
    contract.
    (b) Insurers shall implement procedures to account for the
following when conducting searches of the Death Master File:
        (1) common nicknames, initials used in lieu of a first
    or middle name, use of a middle name, compound first and
    middle names, and interchanged first and middle names;
        (2) compound last names, maiden or married names, and
    hyphens, blank spaces, or apostrophes in last names;
        (3) transposition of the "month" and "date" portions of
    the date of birth; and
        (4) incomplete social security numbers.
    (c) To the extent permitted by law, an insurer may disclose
the minimum necessary personal information about the insured,
annuity owner, retained asset account holder, or beneficiary to
a person whom the insurer reasonably believes may be able to
assist the insurer with locating the beneficiary or a person
otherwise entitled to payment of the claims proceeds.
    (d) An insurer or its service provider shall not charge any
beneficiary or other authorized representative for any fees or
costs associated with a Death Master File search or
verification of a Death Master File match conducted pursuant to
this Act.
    (e) The benefits from a policy, annuity contract, or a
retained asset account, plus any applicable accrued interest,
shall first be payable to the designated beneficiaries or
owners and, in the event the beneficiaries or owners cannot be
found, shall be reported and delivered to the State Treasurer
pursuant to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act.
Nothing in this subsection (e) is intended to alter the amounts
reportable under the existing provisions of the Uniform
Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act or to allow the
imposition of additional statutory interest under Article XIV
of the Illinois Insurance Code.
    (f) Failure to meet any requirement of this Section with
such frequency as to constitute a general business practice is
a violation of Section 424 of the Illinois Insurance Code.
Nothing in this Section shall be construed to create or imply a
private cause of action for a violation of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-893, eff. 1-1-17.)
 
    (215 ILCS 185/30)
    Sec. 30. Administrative rules. (a) The Department shall
adopt rules to administer and implement this Act, including
defining "electronic searchable files" for the purposes of this
Act.
    (b) The Department may limit an insurer's Death Master File
comparisons required under Section 15 of this Act to the
insurer's electronic searchable files or approve a plan and
timeline for conversion of the insurer's files to searchable
electronic files upon a demonstration of hardship by the
insurer.
(Source: P.A. 99-893, eff. 1-1-17.)
 
    (215 ILCS 185/35)
    Sec. 35. Application.
    (a) Except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d),
the The provisions of this Act apply to policies, annuity
contracts, and retained asset accounts in force at any time on
or after January 1, 2012 the effective date of this Act.
    (b) For an insurer that has entered into a written
agreement with the State Treasurer on or before December 31,
2018 to resolve an unclaimed property examination pursuant to
the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act, the
provisions of this Act apply to policies, annuity contracts,
and retained asset accounts in force on or after January 1,
2017.
    (c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), the provisions of this
Act shall apply to policies, annuity contracts, and retained
asset accounts in force at any time on or after January 1, 2000
to the extent that an insurer has electronic searchable files
concerning such policies, annuity contracts, and retained
asset accounts.
    (d) This Act does not apply to a lapsed or terminated
policy with no benefits payable that was compared against the
Death Master File within the 18 months following the date of
the lapse or termination of the applicable policy or that was
searched more than 18 months prior to the most recent
comparison against the Death Master File conducted by the
insurer.
(Source: P.A. 99-893, eff. 1-1-17.)
 
    Section 10. The Vital Records Act is amended by adding
Section 24.6 as follows:
 
    (410 ILCS 535/24.6 new)
    Sec. 24.6. Access to records; State Treasurer. Any
information contained in the vital records shall be made
available at no cost to the State Treasurer for administrative
purposes related to the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed
Property Act.
 
    Section 15. The Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property
Act is amended by changing Section 20 as follows:
 
    (765 ILCS 1025/20)  (from Ch. 141, par. 120)
    Sec. 20. Determination of claims.
    (a) The State Treasurer shall consider any claim filed
under this Act and may, in his discretion, hold a hearing and
receive evidence concerning it. Such hearing shall be conducted
by the State Treasurer or by a hearing officer designated by
him. No hearings shall be held if the payment of the claim is
ordered by a court, if the claimant is under court
jurisdiction, or if the claim is paid under Article XXV of the
Probate Act of 1975. The State Treasurer or hearing officer
shall prepare a finding and a decision in writing on each
hearing, stating the substance of any evidence heard by him,
his findings of fact in respect thereto, and the reasons for
his decision. The State Treasurer shall review the findings and
decision of each hearing conducted by a hearing officer and
issue a final written decision. The final decision shall be a
public record. Any claim of an interest in property that is
filed pursuant to this Act shall be considered and a finding
and decision shall be issued by the Office of the State
Treasurer in a timely and expeditious manner.
    (b) If the claim is allowed, and after deducting an amount
not to exceed $20 to cover the cost of notice publication and
related clerical expenses, the State Treasurer shall make
payment forthwith.
    (c) In order to carry out the purpose of this Act, no
person or company shall be entitled to a fee for discovering
presumptively abandoned property during the period beginning
on the date the property was presumed abandoned under this Act
and ending 24 months after the payment or delivery of the
property to until it has been in the custody of the Unclaimed
Property Division of the Office of the State Treasurer for at
least 24 months. Fees for discovering property that has been in
the custody of that division for more than 24 months shall be
limited to not more than 10% of the amount collected.
    (d) A person or company attempting to collect a contingent
fee for discovering, on behalf of an owner, presumptively
abandoned property must be licensed as a private detective
pursuant to the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private
Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004.
    (e) This Section shall not apply to the fees of an attorney
at law duly appointed to practice in a state of the United
States who is employed by a claimant with regard to probate
matters on a contractual basis or to contest a denial of a
claim for recovery of the property.
    (f) Any person or company offering to identify, discover,
or collect presumptively abandoned property or property which
may become presumptively abandoned on behalf of the putative
owner of such property in exchange for a fee, must provide the
owner with a written disclosure. The disclosure shall be set
forth in a clear and conspicuous manner and at a minimum shall
state the following:
        Each state maintains an office of unclaimed property.
    Generally, if for a number of years an owner of property
    has not communicated directly with the holder of the
    property, and has not otherwise indicated an interest in or
    claimed the property, the property will be delivered to a
    state administered unclaimed property program. Upon such
    delivery, the owner will be able to recover the property
    from the state administered program without charge by the
    state. The unclaimed asset referred to in this Agreement
    has not yet been reported or remitted to any state
    unclaimed property office. Since you reside (or resided) in
    Illinois, you may obtain information about the Illinois
    unclaimed property program by logging onto its website at
    www.illinoistreasurer.gov www.treasurer.il.gov.
        A person or company may not charge a fee greater than
    25% of the property's value for the recovery of that
    property where the property is not yet reportable under
    this Act and the designated owner of that property, as
    reflected within the books and records of the holder, is
    living.
        A person or company may not charge a fee greater than
    33% of the property's value for the recovery of that
    property where the property is not yet reportable under
    this Act and the recovery of that property involves
    documentation of the owner's death or any elements of
    estate or trust administration.
(Source: P.A. 95-613, eff. 9-11-07; 95-1003, eff. 6-1-09.)

Effective Date: 1/1/2018